SAMHSA-HRSA Releases its First Integrated Care Workforce Standards

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) today released its “Core Competencies for Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care,” the first compendium of competencies for those working in integrated health and behavioral health settings. The report, developed by the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce and CIHS in conjunction with content experts and leaders across the integrated field, is intended to serve as a resource for providers as they engage in the development and implementation of integrated care approaches. The following nine core competencies were identified in the report as being those that are common and broadly relevant to working in diverse integrated care settings with diverse populations:

·         Interpersonal Communication

·         Collaboration & Teamwork

·         Screening & Assessment

·         Care Planning & Care Coordination

·         Intervention

·         Cultural Competence & Adaptation

·         Systems Oriented Practice

·         Practice Based Learning & Quality Improvement

·         Informatics

The initial goal of this project was to develop two sets of core competencies: one for behavioral health practitioners and the other for primary care practitioners. However, the results of the data gathering process revealed that most competencies required for integrated care were common to both behavioral health and primary care providers. Further, it was argued that such separation would promote continued silos between disciplines and foster an unnecessary inter-professional divide. Therefore, final CIHS report structured the competencies in a single, integrated set, with attention to clarity and simplicity.

To view the full report, click here.

To learn more about how SAMHSA-HRSA recommends providers using these core competencies, click here